Dosage and Calculations  page 2
Question for those nursing students out there. I'm starting my program this summer and in my curriculum we are given a dosage and calculation exam every semester and have to pass with a 90% or fail... Read More

Mar 14, '04Hi,
My school also requires a minimal grade of 90% on our math tests re: dosages and solutions ... I found that it wasn't the arithmetic that was so difficult, but the way in which to interpret/process the questions. In addition to practicing the math, remember to ask yourself "what is this question asking me?" I've passed my oral parenteral, and IV meds on the first try with this logic in mind, so maybe it'll help you too. Best of luck, and don't let the math freak you out! 
Mar 14, '04Ours is 90 or above too. But, they don't kick us out anymore,, we just have to sign a math deficiency form...for whatever reason, it has no effect on us.
Anyway, the dosage thing is basic math. We just had our exam 2 weeks ago...and let's see, reasons people failed.... they forgot the equivalencies! If you don't know those, you're screwed, and please use dimensional analysis, it is the easy way.
What helped me the most was....in addition to the book they assigned us, I went to our school library, browsed the nursing section, and I found 5 different books on dosage calc, checked out 3 of them...and that helped me sooo much! So, first you review basic math stuff, then learn equivalencies, then do the dosage problems, it's easy once you figure out where to put everything in the formula. 
Mar 15, '04Don't be afraid to ask questions of your instructor. They're there to help you, don't fall behind, and just relax and try your best and don't get discouraged. Good luck and hope all turns out well for you

Mar 15, '04Wow. This thread made me feel a lot better, as if there are others in my same boat. Our school also has the 100% to pass/three tries to get it math tests.
Our first semester test consisted of (I believe it was) fifteen questions each that were abbreviations and equivalants then twenty dosage "story problems". The dosage questions were essentially all the same though. Either you knew how to set it up, and you got them all, or you didn't know how to set one up and you couldn't get any.
And of course we had to show our work.
Oh, and there was two of them that you had to use common sense on... along the lines of your answer came out to 0.9 (of a capsule) so your Final Answer would be 1 since you can't give a portion of a capsule. 
Mar 15, '04oh yea...people in my class failed for not remembering...you can't half a capsule...and the tablets thing, make sure it says a 'scored' tab in the question.
I missed one question, because I forgot that minims can't be in decimals.
And urine is output, not intake lol got to read carefully! 
Mar 15, '04My school had the 100%, take it up to 3 times kind of a thing going on. Of course we were up in arms about it. But you know, all they had to say was this:
As a nurse, you're going to be giving medications every single day. If you are wrong even 5% of the time, that is unacceptable!!!
Even in the unit where I work now, we have to take a yearly math test and get 100%, and if we miss something we have to go back over it so that we understand what we did wrong.
But it's not as bad as you think, don't worry! Just a lot of basic algebra and formulas. Study and you'll be fine! Good luck all of you! 
Mar 15, '04We had to pass with an 80% I found the book"Dosage Calculations Made Incredibly Easy" from Springhouse to be helpful.
If I could pass this math exam anyone can, trust me, I'm really really bad at math. 

Mar 18, '04When I went to school every semester there was a math exam. First semester we had to get an 85 or better. The rest of the semester you had to get 100. We got three chances.
It is one of those things that once you get it everything falls in place. You will do fine.